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Howard University

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Howard University has played an important role in American history and the Civil Rights Movement on a number of occasions. Alain Locke, Chair of the Department of Philosophy and first African American Rhodes Scholar, authored The New Negro, which helped to usher in the Harlem Renaissance. Ralph Bunche, the first Nobel Peace Prize winner of African descent, served as chair of the Department of Political Science. Beginning in 1942, Howard University students pioneered the "stool-sitting" technique of occupying stools at a local cafeteria which denied service to African Americans blocking other customers waiting for service. This tactic was to play a prominent role in the later Civil Rights Movement. By January 1943, students had begun to organize regular sit-ins and pickets at cigar stores and cafeterias around Washington, D. C. which refused to serve them because of their race. These protests continued until the fall of 1944. Stokely Carmichael, also known as Kwame Toure, a student in the Department of Philosophy and the Howard University School of Divinity, coined the term "Black Power" and worked in Lowndes County, Alabama as a voting rights activist. Historian Rayford Logan served as chair of the Department of History. E. Franklin Frazier served as chair of the Department of Sociology. Sterling Allen Brown served as chair of the Department of English.



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